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This entry is part of an online exhibit entitled: "Abraham Goldfaden: A Centennial Tribute," prepared by Eva Heinstein with help from the JMRC staff. To view the exhibit in its entirety click on the link above.
The image above is a score of the song "The Wandering Jew" from Goldfaden's operetta Dr. Almasada, published by S. Schenker in New York in 1916. Some scholars believe that Goldfaden wrote the popular song "The Wandering Jew" in response to the programs he witnessed in the early 1880's in Russia. Others read the song as an early Zionist commentary, driving home the importance of a Jewish homeland. To view an excerpt from the song, continue to the following image. “The Wandering Jew contains” the following poignant lyrics about the physical and psychological homelessness of the Jewish people (translation by Ruth Rubin in Voices of a People: The Story of Yiddish Folksong, 2000, pp.272):
"In tears, in anguish, driven from his home For his great sins, So wanders about everywhere The child, cursed by the Lord. Never to remain long in one place, But to wander tirelessly, For this, the Almighty God, his father, Has branded him with the name, Jew. He pleads to rest his head, somewhere, And though he cries and shouts, oh woe! The answer is no, you cannot come in, You are a Jew and must go on, go!"
Source: Jacob Michael collection of Jewish Music at the Department of Music of the Jewish National and University Library.